In planning

Quality Water for Wannon

We're embarking on a project to improve the water quality in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood.

We’re embarking on a major project to improve the quality of water in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood. Quality Water for Wannon will deliver improved taste and overall water quality to these three communities.

The benefits will extend more broadly across the region with an estimated $1 million a year in public health savings, and improved economic and environmental outcomes
Andrew Jeffers
Managing Director
52.2 million
project cost
140 million
a year in savings for customers
1 million
in public health savings

The issue

Port Fairy, Portland and Heywood are all supplied with deep groundwater which is high in naturally occurring mineral salts. While the water is safe to drink and the supply is very reliable, many people find the taste is less palatable and this leads to reduced consumption.

The detail

The water treatment plants in Portland, Port Fairy and Heywood will be upgraded by adding reverse osmosis technology. This will reduce the saltiness to levels similar to our other water supplies across the region.

Reverse osmosis is a process that uses enormous amounts of pressure to force salty water through a membrane (a filter with microscopic holes). The salt molecules are generally too big to squeeze through the holes but the water molecules are small enough to pass through. This leaves most of the salt on one side of the membrane and fresh water on the other side.

The process will reduce the saltiness to levels similar to our other water supplies across the region. It will produce high-quality drinking water that meets our strict quality requirements including standards set by the:

  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
  • Victorian Safe Drinking Water Act
  • World Health Organisation.

The $52.2 million Quality Water for Wannon Program is jointly funded by the Australian Government, through its National Water Grid Fund, and Wannon Water, who will deliver the project on behalf of its customers and the Victorian Government.


The program will mean a lot for households in the three towns, reducing their cost of buying bottled water and maintaining appliances by around $140 each year. Improving the taste of the water will also deliver better public health, cost-of-living, commercial and economic, and environmental outcomes.

Close up of man pouring glass of water from tap at a kitchen sink.
Find out more
Visit our Engage & Explore site to find out even more about the Quality Water for Wannon project.